Thursday, May 31, 2007


Two years ago today, I had a dream. I don't remember what it was about, but it probably involved a cliff, some clowns, a pretty girl and Herve Villechaize.

Anyway, after I woke up that morning, I decided to launch this blog and write this post. Little did I know that it would lead to bigger and better things, particularly in its second year.

Between the first VB anniversary and November 2006, things were pretty typical in my blogosphere. In those six months, I wrote some things and some of them were allegedly amusing.

Then on Nov. 15, I decided to make a commitment to this wacky thing and buy the domain name Because, y'know, so many people were spilling blood to try to get it.

Exactly one week later, I analyzed an old music video that appeared on PBS' "Reading Rainbow." VB attracted an unprecedented number of visitors -- 6,000-plus in a day, 12,000-plus in nine days -- after high-profile Web sites GorillaMask and Cracked linked to the post.

Less than a week after that, because of Varsity Basketweaving, I was invited to write the first of many posts for Suburbarazzi, my newspaper's blog about celebrities with a connection to New York's Lower Hudson Valley. Within weeks, Suburbarazzi enabled me to interview one of the first stand-up comedians I ever liked (Kevin Meaney).

Two days after singer/songwriter John Mayer returned to the Comedy Cellar Jan. 5 to perform stand-up, I gave a 10-point synopsis of his unannounced show and published an exclusive photo on Varsity Basketweaving. Comedy Central, Gawker, Gothamist, Brooklyn Vegan, The Apiary and Stereogum all linked to the item, and there was much rejoicing.

The next week, I began writing for The Journal News' TV blog, Remote Access, primarily to cover "American Idol." One week after my first Remote Access post, I became a WVOX-Radio guest on a weekly basis to discuss entertainment on Phil Reisman's "High Noon" broadcast. (Thanks again, Phil!)

Because of all three of these blogs, I also attended NBC's first annual Blogger Summit in New York City.

The last week of February was all about sprucing up VB. Within a one-week span, Varsity Basketweaving joined the BlogBurst network, had a new logo, incorporated Google Ads (which don't look half-bad!), installed RSS feeds of Suburbarazzi and Remote Access, and showcased perhaps my favorite widget: the lovely Label Cloud upgrade that's simultaneously color-coded and size-dependent to indicate blog topic frequency.

In March, the two Journal News entertainment blogs allowed me to conduct exclusive interviews with fashion icon Isaac Mizrahi and Fox 5 anchorman Ernie Anastos. And on March 5, I launched my Headline Punchline blog that features "actual headlines, marginal punchlines." It's been on hiatus since April 8, but I hope to get back to it soon.

This month, I began appearing regularly on RNN-TV as an on-air correspondent for Suburbarazzi, which might never have happened if I hadn't first made my mark with Varsity Basketweaving.

In truth, these last couple of months have featured fewer Varsity Basketweaving posts than the previous 10. That's due to a few factors, including a few changes in my work schedule and beat, as well as more frequent postings to both Journal News blogs -- especially as "American Idol" wrapped up. But I hope to pick up the pace and continue to post interesting content on here for years to come.

Thanks for reading and commenting these last 24 months! Here's to more 'Weaving!

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Bob Barker reveals the 'dirtiest trick anyone ever pulled on me'

I'm a game show connoisseur, but even I've never seen this clip from "The Price is Right." Bob Barker is at his absolute finest here:

We'll miss you, Bob-boo.

Monday, May 28, 2007

When Charles Nelson Reilly dies, I feel like ______.

Charles Nelson Reilly died yesterday. I'm sure his last will and testament is full of zig-zag lines and flourishes.

The good news is he can be reunited at that big "Match Game" in the sky with Gene Rayburn and Richard Dawson.

Oh, wait. Richard Dawson's still alive.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Shut up. Blake Lewis is awesome.

Exhibit A, featuring Doug E. Fresh on last night's "American Idol" finale:

Marginally more commentary here.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Finally, justice for Jill's text-messaging BFF

I was going to blog about how obnoxious the girl in this commercial is, but someone already created the video equivalent of what I wanted to say.

I give you a video I like to call "TISNNF! (This is so not NOT fair!)":

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Spider-Man's at his most evil when he's depriving me of free Burger King num-nums

Yes, the black suit brings out the awful qualities in Spider-Man on the silver screen (and in the screenwriting, evidently), but the worst impact it has is on my chances of winning free food from Burger King this weekend.

BK has a promotion involving scratch-off tickets, forcing customers to choose either the web next to the red Spider-Man mask or the black Spider-Man mask. I've always had a problem with this premise, because winners should win based on merely buying the food (or in wussier fashion, claiming a free game ticket by pulling that boring no-purchase-necessary crap) and not because they happened to beat the 50/50 odds.

Understanding that, theoretically, I should beat those odds by picking one color across the board on the three tickets that came with my King-sized meal, I scratched off the black Spider-Man web all three times. I failed to win the Croissan'Wich, Whopper and fries that were concealed behind the three red Spider-Man webs.

I looked worse than Peter Parker blubbering when Mary Jane Watson dumped him in "Spidey 3."

Still, maybe I've got this all wrong. Perhaps the black Spider-Man is really the good one, serving as dietitian and saving me from perilous heart attacks down the road.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Unsollicited praise of Eliot Morris' single 'Fault Line'

I am unable to merge two things I love, so I'm a-bloggin' about both.

1. My Project Playlist, which I post on my MySpace profile:

2. A brilliant, earthy Eliot Morris song called "Faultline," which I first heard on Sirius satellite radio's Coffee House channel.

The Project Playlist format searches for sites that host specific mp3 files, but none seems to carry "Fault Line." It's such a good song, however, that I want to introduce it to the 100 or so people who click on this site per day. I'm neither being paid for this service, nor do I have any personal connection to Mr. Morris. But this song is addictive, and makes me want to learn acoustic guitar (again).

My only complaint: The "oooh-ooh-ooh" refrain is perhaps the catchiest part of the song, so why is there only one of them at the coda, instead of two? If that's done to leave the audience wanting more, mission accomplished.

OK, enough words. More Morris:

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Missing the War (in the Symphony Hall balcony)

Ben Folds was a guest of the Boston Pops for the orchestra's opening night at Boston Symphony Hall last night, when a fist-fight broke out in the balcony.

Maybe the fight was a front so that Keith Lockhart could maintain his street cred. Next stop: the Source Awards.

But if it's legit, what's wrong with kids today? I mean, Salieri and Mozart knew how to really throw down back in the day: dueling operas. Ain't no dis track like a Mozart dis track, 'cuz a "Dies Irae" don't stop!

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

TV: Where I'm encouraged to discuss Spider-Man, 'The Dukes of Hazzard' and Howard Stern

Start the clock: After six-and-a-half more of these RNN-TV clips, my 15 minutes of fame will be officially up. In the meantime, enjoy my appearance as a Suburbarazzi correspondent!

Monday, May 07, 2007

Lazy stapler

How dare you not fasten the 26 pages of an adopted school district budget proposal? In no way is it the fault of my palm strength or judgment of just how many sheets can endure the lame-itude of your nonfastening ways.

Also, how dare you not write my corresponding story for me!

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Ronald McDonald is so gangsta

At first, I was confounded by one of Timbaland's disses of rival producer Scott Storch on "Give It To Me."

I mean, why would he be proud to earn a Happy Meal over the "couple grand" Storch allegedly earns for his beats?

Then I realized, Tim's saying "half a mil," and not referring to the well-packaged, high-fat meal featured at McDonald's.

"I get a [Happy Meal/half a mil'] for my beats, you get a couple grand."

I dunno... those Happy Meal toys are pretty awesome.

Also, for those of you who noticed the delay in posting, I'm not dead yet.